Aerojet General X-8

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X-8 Aerobee
Aerojet X-8 rocket
Role Upper Atmospheric Research Vehicle, X-plane
Manufacturer Aerojet General
First flight 2 December 1949[1]
Primary users NACA/NASA
United States Air Force
United States Navy
Number built 108
Variants Aerobee

The Aerojet General X-8 was an unguided, spin-stabilized sounding rocket designed to launch a 150 lb (68 kg) payload to 200,000 feet (61.0 km). The X-8 was later spun off into the prolific Aerobee rocket.

Operational history[edit]

At launch, an 18,000 lbf (80 kN) thrust Aerojet solid rocket booster fired for 2.5 seconds. After booster jettison, a 2,600 lbf (12 kN) thrust RTV-N10 liquid fuel rocket burned for up to 40 seconds (depending on desired apogee). The spent rocket then fell back in a ballistic arc, the payload returning to Earth via parachute. The baseline X-8 measured 20.2 ft (6.2 m) in length and measured 5.25 ft (1.6 m) across the fins. In testing, a maximum altitude of 138 miles (222.1 km) and a speed of Mach six was achieved.


  • X-8 - 68
  • X-8A - 34
  • X-8B - 1
  • X-8C - 2
  • X-8D - 3

Specifications (general)[edit]

Data from The X-Planes: X-1 to X-45[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: unmanned
  • Length: 20ft 1.5in ()
  • Wingspan: 5ft 3in ()
  • Height: 15in ()
  • Wing area: 36ft² ()
  • Empty weight: 135lb ()
  • Loaded weight: 1,097lb ()
  • Useful load: 150-300lb ()




See also[edit]

Related development


  1. ^ a b Miller, Jay (2001). "Aerojet General X-8A, X-8B, X-8C, and X-8D Aerobee". The X-Planes: X-1 to X-45. Hinckley, UK: Midland. ISBN 1-85780-109-1. 

External links[edit]